Young, bold, and resilient are words that best describe one of Nigeria rising lawyer, business and philanthropy enigma, Moses Oruaze Dickson, the Managing Solicitor of TRIAX Solicitors with great passion for helping less privilege, particularly the youths, and vulnerable women in the society.
Oruaze, as he is fondly called, is one of the voices in the Nigerian legal service industry as much as he has built a reputation for himself as a philanthropist to take note of. He champions the course of people of the Niger-Delta region through the Goldcoast Developmental Foundation, which he founded in 2012.
In this interview with Olasunkanmi Akoni, Dickson talks about his plans on job creation, through his commitment to philanthropy. Excerpts:
What is the brain behind your foundation?
I believe that when God blesses you financially, you do not raise your standard of living, rather raise your standard of giving. Having stared at the face of poverty and refusing to bow throughout my upbringing, I have always felt a deep responsibility to give back to my community. I credit my parents, particularly my late mother, Mrs. Goldcoast Dickson for instilling the ethos of philanthropy, particularly my responsibility as a Christian to give and care for the less priviledged in our society. I believe our role as citizens is to truly support our society so that future generations and those unborn will live better lives and strive for more than they think is possible today.
How do you think more people, especially the youths, women can be encouraged to commit to philanthropy.
I truly believe that charity and philanthropy do not necessarily mean you have to spend money. There are several avenues available to almost everyone in society on how to give back. I often tell people to donate their time, talents and belongings for the good of others. I think there can be collective efforts to helping the less priviledge, especially the young ones and vulnerable women.
Can you tell us about TRIAX Solicitors?
Triax Solicitors was founded with the vision to become one of the leading law firms in the country that is focused on niche practice, particularly in commercial law. So far, we have been able to successfully complete high profile projects worth over $100 million. This we have achieved within our short existence of three years. Also, we have been able to expand our operations from Bayelsa State to Abuja and about to open a new office in Lagos State. We have a network of about 20 staff members for now and still growing.
As a law firm, we are committed to supporting the communities where we do business by widening access to justice, education and finance. We collaborate with clients, Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs and charitable organisation to deliver these community outreaches and pro bono services, with partner-led, client-focused teams.
Our community outreach focuses on providing the best possible support to our NGO and charity clients, whilst at the same time expanding the capabilities of our people and strengthening relationships, partnership and collaboration. Our initiatives provide all of our people, at all levels, with opportunities to practice and enhance the skills that are key to their development, making them more effective and well-rounded.
One way we measure the impact of this commitment is by setting ourselves an annual target of helping 5,000 people a year. We have a varied programme of community and pro bono activities, which focus on access to justice, access to education and access to finance.
What CSR projects has your firm executed?
Over the years, we have partnered with non-profit organisations inclduing the Goldcoast Development Foundation to support less privilege individuals through our pro-bono services. We also partnered with the International Federation of Women Lawyers,FIDA, Bayelsa State chapter to fight violence against the girl child through the #ProtectTheGirlChild challenge.
This campaign was in response to the increasing cases of sexual violence on young girls across the country, which we feel that something must be done to address it. We plan to formally launch the #ProtectTheGirldChild campaign, providing legal services as well as financial support to ensure that victims of such violence are protected and given adequate access to justice.
You were a speaker at the last edition of Social Media week in Lagos, what were your experience?
The last edition of Social Media Week in Lagos was my first time of attending the conference, and I had the privilege to be invited to facilitate two sessions at what is unarguably the largest technology, new media and business conference on the continent of Africa. This week-long conference was a whirlwind of in-depth panel discussions, keynote speakers, networking chatter and discussions into how social media and technology is changing business, society, and culture on the continent and the world.
During one of my sessions, I talked about how technology and social media can help the insurance industry connect more to the youth market. Not only are we interested in the industry, but we are also interested in dealing with issues around claims management, which is one of the major challenges of the insurance industry.